May 16, 2013
The good news is, journalists and protesters are allowed to come closer than expected to the hotel; the bad news is, they will be subjected to pat downs by a private security firm.
A spokesman for the Hertfordshire police, responsible for managing the protests from June 6-9 outside the Grove Hotel, has stated that reporters and protesters will be allowed inside the outer gates of the Grove Hotel, giving them a fairly good view of all incoming- and outgoing Bilderberg participants. The downside is, that the people who are allowed in must first undergo a pat down by a private security firm named G4S.
Hertfordshire police liaison officer, Steve Lee, told Neil Foster from Sovereign Independent UK that the pat downs are a requirement of the Grove Hotel itself. Foster was also told that “ it will not be as intrusive as currently being used at airports”. Foster writes:
“Steve Lee and other police officers will be present at all times to ensure compliance of G4S within the agreed limits of their pat downs.”
None other than Barack Obama has given praise to G4S “for its successful commitment to hiring returning military veterans”- which leads us to pray we will receive more gentle treatment from the G4S security personnel than the people from the country’s they’ve just returned from.
The good news from the Hertfordshire constabulary is that media and protesters alike will be allowed inside the front entrance of the Grove Hotel. Foster reports:
“(…) the area suggested for the media is inside the front entrance of The Grove Hotel and the adjacent field to directly facing the front entrance, with a good view of all incoming and exiting vehicles as well as areas on the inside of the main entrance behind the small boxhedges to accommodate the large numbers of media wishing to cover the event.”
The bad news is that those who choose not to subject themselves to the groping hands of these private security guards are not allowed into the Grove premises.
“It has (…) been proposed that the area just outside the gates will be cordoned off with barriers to allow those who don’t wish to be searched the opportunity to protest in safety. It is a very busy road with large volumes of traffic and this is an understandable precaution to avoid any accidents.”
Despite Watford’s mayor Thornhill’s feelings about the expected protesters, it appears the police follows through on its promise to facilitate the protesters. Hertfordshire police liaison officer Lee told Foster that there will be toilets available as well as plenty of parking space:
“(…) parking for media and private vehicles may be made available on Hempstead Road which although having the same name as the main road passing the front entrance is actually directly opposite the main entrance and runs parallel to the main Hempstead Road accessible via Courtland’s Drive which is first left after the main entrance coming from the M25.”
In any case the choice is simple: either you avoid a pat down (which by the way, Mr. policeman, is by definition intrusive) but satisfy yourself with a back-seat position- or you endure a TSA-style procedure by Afghanistan vets and get front row tickets to the most secretive of international gatherings. Your choice. In any case, it’s good to know the constabulary will be on its utmost best behavior, facilitating those planning to make their way to Watford with the best possible fields on which to graze.